Teen Health Dialogues: Coming of Age in A Sex Saturated Culture

Feb. 21, 2015 Update! Speaking of teen health dialogues, here’s more on Shaping Youth about 2014’s YTH.org (Youth Tech Health) Live event (sneak peak of 2015 sessions here) and a heads up/save the date notice for April 26, 2015 where they’ll once again bring together bright minds and big solutions in important conversations surrounding youth and public health. 

This year I truly hope they deconstruct the mixed media messages hammering teens’ healthy sexuality with 50 Shades of violent, abusive titillation…See Part One: 50 Shades of Disempowerment and Part Two: 50 Talking Points for 50 Shades on Shaping Youth here with huge thanks to the Educate Empower Kids.org for their excellent talking points and health literacy.

YTH.org addresses wellness issues using new media platforms and mobile health apps, sensors, and devices the way YOUTH use them…So while we’re at it, don’t miss this post: Healthvana: Peace of Mind in the Dating App Era and coming soon, a feature on teen outreach and the growth of the popular Crisis Text Line.org to lend an ear peer to peer with health moderators and trained pros at the ready.

Feb. 18, 2010 We interrupt our series on teen sexual health with YTH.org Founder Deb Levine (part one is here) because, well, this is a self-funded blog, so we can. Our local NPR affiliate KQED happens to be turning the spotlight on teen health dialogues talking to California kids about coming of age in our media-drenched, fast-paced youth culture (web snippets from teens after the jump).

We’ve already heard from the Pew Internet & American Life Project that one third of teens go online for basic health information…so now let’s find out more, like:

How do teens interpret media images of health and sexuality?

And, what are some of the most pressing health issues for teenagers on their journey to adulthood?

How do parents and schools talk to teenagers about responsible sex and positive, loving relationships? Or do they at all?

These vital questions will surface repeatedly in the YTH.org conference, so consider this your ‘teen primer’ of what’s on kids minds before you even get there!

Teens, add your voice to the Health Dialogues chat, find your local airtime here, and comment with (or sans) parents to add your vital voice and views!

While you’re there, outreach coordinator Shuka Kalantari recommends you check out the audio slide show of the Teen Health Van (Stanford Children’s Hospital) to be heard there too, and I’ll toss in that I’m now following KQEDHealth on Twitter and their HealthDialogues.org site too.

Click on the interactive widget below to find out what these teens are stressing about, as they answer each question in a quick 20 second snippet…

As they chat about THEIR biggest health concerns, (from drunk drivers, gangs, peer pressure about sex, access to junk food vs. healthy fare, etc.) find out what’s on their minds and add YOUR own thoughts to their online convo…

You can also subscribe to Health Dialogues on iTunes or download the teens’ info to host on your own site.

Clearly February is the month for uncorking these heart, body, and mind discussions?!?!?

Now back to our Part Two and Part Three series with Deb Levine of YTH.org and for those who missed part one, I’ll add the links to teen resources in each post.

In part two we’ll have the top teen anonymous questions being asked about sex from one of the pros at Teen Talk (some will no doubt make you “Say What?”) And then we’ll have the “Say What?” contest winners of most bizarre things ADULTS have said to teens about sex or sexuality…

…Nothing like two sides of the generational spectrum to see why it’s so important to close the chasm, and mind the gap for the health and well-being of all.

Related Posts on Shaping Youth

Interview w/Amy Jussel on The Girl Revolution (sex ed/media)

Interview w/Amy Jussel on The Girl Revolution (sex ed/media Pt2)

Sex::Tech Top 10 Teen Sex Ed/Safety Videos (By Kids, For Kids)

Kids Prime Time TV Health Cues Ingested (For Better or For Worse)

Influencers, Accountability & the Global Cost to Youth

Text Monster: Teen Tips On Digital Dating Obsessions

I’m Not a Prude, But…

Related Resources for Youth

More Resources

Amplify Your Voice (Youth-Driven/Sexual Health Activism)

TV/Internet: Advocates for Youth Factsheet-Sexual Health Info The Media

Project: Enterainment Industry Resources on Sexual Health


Managing the Media Monster (Influence of Media)

The Kinsey Institute: FAQs on Teen Sexual Activity

CDC-YRBS National Trends in Risk Behaviors

2010 Efficacy of a Theory-Based Abstinence Only Intervention Over 24 mos

Abstinence Only Programs Might Work Study Says

Abstinence Only SexEd Statistics: Final Nail in the Coffin

CDC: 1991-2007 Trends in the Prevalence of Sexual Behaviors



  1. Great article. As sex becomes more & more ‘mainstream’ at an earlier age it seems that it is becoming more and more difficult to talk about it openly with our children, why is that??
    .-= Guardianship Services´s last blog ..British Guardianship Rules =-.

  2. STD Testing is highly recommended by many professionals and individuals.

  3. Mari, beyond ‘highly recommended’ I’ll go with STD testing as ‘imperative, and necessary for one’s own health and wellbeing’

    A great free resource for this is http://www.ISIS-Inc.org which has dozens of new media/mobile clinic finders, resources, advice and partner orgs to help steer youth into an age appropriate, thorough fit. They’ve got a great white paper research document on pubic health that’s a must read too.

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